Arne Jacobsen

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Arne Emil Jacobsen (11 February 1902 – 24 March 1971) was a Danish architect and designer, exemplar of the 'Danish Modern' style. In addition to his architectural work he created a number of highly original chairs and other furniture. He received several international distinctions and medals.


[edit] Education and training

Jacobsen was a student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He was awarded a degree in 1927

[edit] Furniture designs

Bellavista apartments, Klampenborg, view-1.
Bellavista apartments, Klampenborg, view-2.
Bellavista apartments, Klampenborg, view-3.
St Catherine's College, Oxford-view from west.
St Catherine's College, Oxford-undergraduate rooms and bell-tower-view from east.

Many of Jacobsen's furniture designs [1] have become classics. A selection of these would include:

  • The Ant Chair. (1952)
  • The Seven series. (1955)
  • The Swan, a chair. (1958)
  • The Egg, a chair. (1958)
  • The Pot Chair. (1959)
  • The Giraffe Chair. (1959)
  • The Seagull Chair.

The third and fourth were both designed for the Radisson SAS Hotel in Copenhagen.

Jacobsen is, perhaps, best known for the Model 3107 chair (1955), also referred to as the 'Number 7' chair. It is said to have sold over 5 million copies. This chair is, itself, probably best known for being the prop used to hide Christine Keeler's nakedness in the 'iconic' photograph of her taken by Lewis Morley in 1963. [2] Morley just happened to use a chair that he had in the studio, which turned out to have been a copy of Jacobsen's design. Since then 'Number 7' chairs have been used for many similar portraits imitating the pose.

His other visible contribution to pop culture in the media is his flatware design, with right and left-handed spoons, in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was selected for the film because of its 'futuristic' appearance.

[edit] St Catherine's College, Oxford

St Catherine's College is Jacobsen's interpretation of a university college. It has a large number of elements among which are to be found:

  • A quadrangle centered on a lawn (a circle with one or two Cedar of Lebanon trees).
  • Undergraduate rooms (laid out in two long rows).
  • A garden.
  • A dining hall on a very substatial scale.
  • A senior common room.
  • A junior common room.
  • Master's lodgings.
  • A 'feature' (in this case, a lily pond).

His creativity did not end there, however. A perfectionist, he also designed the flatware, all of the furniture in the rooms, the locks and keys, the door handles, the sinks, the taps, and all the lights. Though only staircases 1 and 2 have the original and completed design, the metal shower stalls and bathrooms are intact.

Many of the furnishings and fixtures Jacobsen designed for St Catherine's are considered classics of modern design, represented in galleries around the world. The part of the College designed by him is now a Grade 1 Listed Building, the highest designation available for architecture in England or Wales.

In 1956 Jacobsen was appointed to a professorship of architecture at the R.D.A.F.A. in Copenhagen.

[edit] Principal architectural works

  1. Order is according to date, earliest first.
  2. All locations named are in Denmark, unless stated otherwise.
  • Bellevue Strandbad, Klampenborg. (1933-34)
  • Bellavista apartments, Strandvejen 419-451, Klampenborg. (1933-34)
  • Bellevue Theater and restaurant, Klampenborg. (1935-36)
  • The City Hall, Søllerød, Copenhagen. (Together with Flemming Lassen). (1938-42)
  • The City Hall, Århus. (Together with Erik Møller). (1939-42)
  • Søholm I and II, housing estates, Klampenborg. (1946-51)

  • Søholm townhouse, Klampenborg.(1950-54) (Owned by Jacobsen)
  • The Town Hall, Rødovre, Copenhagen. (1956-57)
  • The Town Hall, Glostrup, Copenhagen. (1958)
  • The Munkegård School, Copenhagen. (1955-59)
  • SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen. (1958-60)

  • The Christianeum (a school), Hamburg, Germany. (1970-71)
  • HEW (Vattenfall Europe), (north) Hamburg, Germany. (1970)
  • The Royal Danish Embassy, London, UK. (1976-77)[4]

[edit] Gallery of works

[edit] References

  1. ^ View images of his design work
  2. ^ Christine Keeler Photograph: A Modern Icon - Victoria and Albert Museum
  3. ^ Construction of this building was not completed until 1973.
  4. ^ The dates here represent the period of construction only.

[edit] External links

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